Title

Facilitating Lexical Acquisition in Beginner Learners of Italian through Task-Induced Involvement Load

Subject Area

Second Language Acquisition

Abstract

This study explores the facilitation of lexical acquisition and retention through an incidental experiment with pretest/posttest design examining the effect of Involvement Load on Italian vocabulary growth among beginner learners. Participants in sections of the same first-year Italian course were divided into one of five groups consisting of a Control Group and four Treatment groups. Treatment groups were divided based on level of Involvement (Laufer & Hulstijn, 2001) such that some groups processed target words elaborately (Craik, 2002; Lockhart, 2002) through vocabulary exercises while others completed low Involvement activities limited to comprehension of the lyrics. The fifth group constituted the Control. In terms of lexical gains, it was hypothesized that the High Involvement groups would outperform Low Involvement groups. The Vocabulary Knowledge Scale (VKS) (Wesche & Paribakht, 1996) was administered at pretest and at four and eight weeks following pretest respectively. The VKS measures lexical growth from receptive abilities (being able to recognize the lexeme) to providing a meaning for the lexeme (aspects of the lemma) to using the item productively in an original sentence (a deeper knowledge of the items’ lemmatic features). Mean scores at posttest and delayed posttest in addition to ANOVA indicated that participants in High Involvement groups outperformed participants in Low Involvement groups (p=0.017). The facilitative role of Involvement Load is discussed in light of recent studies on elaborate processing with commentary on how Involvement Load can be applied to the L2 classroom.

Brief Bio Note

Dr. Vanessa Natale Rukholm is Assistant Professor of French and Italian at the Unviersity of Tampa in Tampa, Florida. She completed her PhD at the University of Toronto with a dissertation entitled Facilitating Lexical Acquisition in Beginner Learners of Italian Through Popular Song. Her research interests include: lexical acquisition; L1, L2, and L3 interference; cognate recognition and facilitation; second language teaching and learning; intercultural competence.

Keywords

Lexical acquisition, Vocabulary learning, Involvement load, Elaborate processing, SLA, Second language teaching and learning

Location

Room 217

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-27-2015 1:30 PM

End Date

3-27-2015 2:45 PM

Embargo

5-23-2017

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Mar 27th, 1:30 PM Mar 27th, 2:45 PM

Facilitating Lexical Acquisition in Beginner Learners of Italian through Task-Induced Involvement Load

Room 217

This study explores the facilitation of lexical acquisition and retention through an incidental experiment with pretest/posttest design examining the effect of Involvement Load on Italian vocabulary growth among beginner learners. Participants in sections of the same first-year Italian course were divided into one of five groups consisting of a Control Group and four Treatment groups. Treatment groups were divided based on level of Involvement (Laufer & Hulstijn, 2001) such that some groups processed target words elaborately (Craik, 2002; Lockhart, 2002) through vocabulary exercises while others completed low Involvement activities limited to comprehension of the lyrics. The fifth group constituted the Control. In terms of lexical gains, it was hypothesized that the High Involvement groups would outperform Low Involvement groups. The Vocabulary Knowledge Scale (VKS) (Wesche & Paribakht, 1996) was administered at pretest and at four and eight weeks following pretest respectively. The VKS measures lexical growth from receptive abilities (being able to recognize the lexeme) to providing a meaning for the lexeme (aspects of the lemma) to using the item productively in an original sentence (a deeper knowledge of the items’ lemmatic features). Mean scores at posttest and delayed posttest in addition to ANOVA indicated that participants in High Involvement groups outperformed participants in Low Involvement groups (p=0.017). The facilitative role of Involvement Load is discussed in light of recent studies on elaborate processing with commentary on how Involvement Load can be applied to the L2 classroom.